El abrazo de la serpiente Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela 2015 – 125min.

El abrazo de la serpiente

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Embrace of the Serpent

Movie Rating: Geoffrey Crété

Karamakate, a powerful Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, lives alone in the depths of the jungle. Dozens of years of loneliness have made him a chullachaqui, devoid of memories and emotions. His life is turned upside down by the arrival of Evans, an American ethnobotanist in search of the yakruna, a very powerful, sacred, healing plant. They go on a journey together to the heart of the mysterious Amazon forest...

It’s hard not to think of Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo) when the impressive Amazonian region appears onscreen. Especially as Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra tries to capture all the strangeness of the mystical jungle during this journey of two total opposites in search of an unreal plant. Enveloped in hallucinogenic black and white, Embrace of the Serpent is a remarkable, hypnotic and mesmerizing movie that takes its audience on the same strange trip as its protagonists. But it risks forcing them to remain passive: despite being undeniably well researched and boasting a cinematic eye that commands respect, Guerra’s film remains too abstract and rough to truly immerse the audience in the torpor of its characters. Bewitching and impressive, but not convincing.

05.01.2016

3

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